This diary entry is part 25 of 25 in Lily's diary dated 28 - October 2023

Hi! It’s me! Lily!!!

Halloween is over.

I didn’t do much for it, as I said.  Truthfully, I know the supernatural exists, and it’s scary enough without adding cartoonish things like creaky castles and bats.  I mean, I was directly touched by it. Several times.  Right?

Oh well.

Kids running around in their little costumes though.  I can’t decide if it’s cute or annoying.


Otherwise it was a pretty quiet day.  Not as cold, but still a bit nippy.  Fall is here!!!  Yay?  Or awww?  I can’t decide.

Crystal is now practicing only three hours a day.  That’s a lot but it’s not unmanageable, and good for her for sticking with it, I guess.  She’s a little wild and a lot damaged, but she’s a good girl.  That’s why we’re all supporting her.

Ummm… oh no.  Do I have to dress like a rocker???  I like girly outfits!  Not leather and black lipstick…

Jack might like it though…

Well…  I don’t have much to talk about tonight.  Just the normal stuff, or as normal as it gets for me.

Love you all!!! ❤️

This diary entry is part 24 of 25 in Lily's diary dated 28 - October 2023

Hi! It’s me! Lily!!!

It’s Halloween Eve!!!

And, well…  I didn’t really do anything interesting.  Halloween isn’t really interesting to me.  Some kids did come knocking, though, and Sabby gave them some candy.

I just sat in my room and did sit-in-my-room stuff.

Yuki wants in on the band action.  She does have some experience on guitar, so I asked Diana if she wanted to give her position up to Yuki.  Frankly, she kind of sighed with relief and said Yuki could have it.  So…  I guess right now it’s Crystal, me, Beth, and Yuki.  Crystal’s actually happy.  Yuki would give the band a bit of celebrity cred, though she’d have never asked on her own.

I guess I made it absolutely clear how I felt about people trying to capitalize on Yuki’s fame.

This all makes the band really fragile, though.  Two of us that will be leaving eventually.  But beggars can’t be choosers.

We’re not upset at Crystal or anything.  If we felt that strongly about it, well, we wouldn’t.  It’s just not our favorite thing and we don’t have time.

Anyway.  Enough on that topic.  I’ll start annoying the neighbors when the drum kit arrives.  I’ve never actually even hit a drum before, so this should be… ummm… interesting.  We… do need to find Yuki a guitar though.

Oh, speaking of Yuki, she heard back.  She can use her old songs!!! But we had to pay a license fee.  It wasn’t too much, and it’s worth it to not have to write out own stuff.  She’s really happy about that too.

Life goes on, I suppose.

Love you all!!! ❤️

This diary entry is part 23 of 25 in Lily's diary dated 28 - October 2023

Hi! It’s me! Lily!!!

And… sigh.

So the girls and I (except for Crystal, and you’ll see why) had an emergency meeting today.  After my talk with Crystal last week, I…  felt really bad for her.  I don’t like how she’s practicing herself almost literally to death, and we need to get a handle on that.  But we can’t do it from the outside.  She has very legitimate reasons (to her) for wanting to get so good at the guitar so quickly.

So… and DANG IT ALL, we’re all forming a band.

Truthfully, none of us except for Crystal really want to.  I have my hands full with the piano, I don’t want to learn another instrument.  And the other girls don’t really have enough time to put into it.  But dang it, she’s our sister.  We have to support her.  And it’s going to be easier to support her if we’re in with her.

So…  Dave ordered a drumset for me.  And Beth’s going to sing and play rhythm guitar, or something.  Bass…  well, we haven’t really decided yet, but Diana said she’s been meaning to play an instrument, so… well…  I guess we’re doing this.

I’m not the keenest on the drums, but I play piano, and could professionally someday.  I don’t want to hurt my fingers.  And I guess it’d be great to have something to take my frustrations out on.  I guess.  I could play keyboard too, and probably will at some point, but right now it’s just basic stuff.

We haven’t thought of a band name, and it doesn’t really matter, because it’ll be months before we’re good enough to actually do anything.  And in the meantime, we need to keep an eye out for another drummer, because I’m going off to college in a year and not even Crystal is gonna get in the way of that.  But… maybe Jack’s willing to learn.  I’ll ask him next time we see each other… probably in a few days.

But I did tell Crystal this afternoon and poor girl started bawling again.  But this time because she was happy.

I told her, though, that in exchange, she’d better get the practicing down to a level that won’t kill her.  She agreed.  I also told her that we’re putting significant time, effort, and money into helping her with her dream, so she’d better dang well mean it and not back out.

I guess that’s what they mean by “taking one for the team”.


Let’s be clear – this isn’t going to be one of those stories where a bunch of girls get together and form a band because they love the music or want girl power or anything like that.  One of us has a dream, and the rest of us are going to help make it happen.  That’s it.  We’re probably going to bow out when we get the first opportunity – and that’s not news to Crystal.  She knows where our minds are.  But who knows.  Beth did seem oddly excited to be singing for real.

Anyway, enough of that.  You probably won’t hear much more about that for a while.

I might get Beth a purple wig and a tracksuit, though.  Haha!!!

Otherwise… it got cold today.  Very cold.  That’s Texas for you.  It can’t decide whether to roast or freeze you.  But at least we got a week or two of the really nice temperatures.

Love you all!!! ❤️

This diary entry is part 22 of 25 in Lily's diary dated 28 - October 2023

Hi! It’s me! Lily!!!

The girls are over tonight.  Crystal left her guitar home.  I mean, I normally wouldn’t mind her bringing it, but her fingers are hurting, and she needs to spend some quality time with her sisters.  Not always with her guitar.

I don’t really know what to do for Crystal.  Maybe there’s nothing I can do.  Maybe I’ve done all I can.  Is it enough?  I don’t know.  I don’t know anything.

But, we’re about to make a pile.  And we’re all going to give her extra special cuddles.

That’s all we can do, I guess.

We went to the mall today and I bought her a really big plush.  I mean the kind that you can hug like a real person.  She didn’t know I was doing it until I gave it to her.  She almost started crying all over again.

Now we’re full of chocolate and pizza.  Saturday nights are the best!!!

We’re still trying to figure out when to make a road trip to Dallas.  Rebecca is still unpacking.  Guess they have a lot of stuff.

You know… I’m thinking.  Maybe there is something we can do.

Love you all!!! ❤️

This diary entry is part 21 of 25 in Lily's diary dated 28 - October 2023

Hi! It’s me! Lily!!!

So… ummm….  I found out what’s going on with Crystal.

It’s never what it seems, is it, with people?

Crystal has spent the past few days basically practicing her fingers raw – literally.  She’s got bandages on them and she’s still playing through it.  I went over to her house last night – her parents are worried about her and she’s not talking to them about it.  They thought maybe she’d talk to me about it.

It’s sad that they’re right about those things.

She was practicing when I went into her room, and she didn’t even notice I was there.  Her room was a little more messy than usual and she… was a little unkempt. Aww.

“Crystal?”, I said, softly.  She didn’t even notice.  “Crystal?”, I said louder.  “CRYSTAL!”  And she jumped so hard she fell off her bed.  The guitar made an awful noise as she barely saved it from a clangy fate.

“Lily?  What are you doing here?”, she asked as she picked herself up and got back on her bed.

I looked at her fingers.  They looked painful.  “Those look like they hurt.”

She shrugged and went back to practicing.

‘Crystal, you can take a break and talk to me.”  I sat down next to her.

“Why are you worried about me?  You’re a pianist. You know how to play.  You know how much practice you need.”  strum

I reached over and turned off her amp.

She wasn’t happy with that.  “Leave that alone,” she said somewhat angrily.

“Are you going to let me answer your question?”

She sighed.  “Fine.”

“We’re worried about you because this isn’t healthy.  We all support you wanting to learn to play, but you’re being really obsessive about it.  You’re…” I peered at her.  “Have you been taking care of yourself?”

“You’re not my mother.”

“No, but I’m your sister.  Or have you forgotten that being a sister means something to me?”

She looked down and was quiet for a bit.  “You don’t know what it’s like,” she said quietly.

“What what’s like?”, I asked.  I had a sneaking feeling about how this was going to go.

“What it’s like”, she said.  “What it feels like to be homeless.  What it feels like to…  be…”  She trailed off.  “What it feels like to be in love with someone who is only using you.  What it…”  She sniffled.  “What if that happens again?  I don’t have anything,” she said sadly.  “I didn’t have anything then, and I don’t have anything now.  You remember that anime you showed me?  With the pink haired girl?  Who was really good at guitar?”


“Yeah, her.  The guitar was all she had, and she knew it.  Remember that scene at the after party?  Where those guys were talking about his cheating wife and she had a meltdown thinking about how her life would be if she didn’t have guitar?”

I nodded.

She was quiet, but I could see her chest heaving.

“I don’t even have that,” she said.  “All I’ve… all I’ve got is my body, and even that’s… even that’s…”  She choked out a sob.  “Ruined…”

I reached out and held her to me, and let her bawl, and she was bawling so hard.  I hate seeing my sisters that way.  But I understood, I think.  Well, no,  I didn’t.  But…  maybe I did.  A little.

“So you want… to be special.”

She shook her head.  “I want to be…  safe,” she said.  “I’m not safe. I haven’t been safe since… since…” She started bawling again. You know how someone tries to hold it in and it just comes out anyway and their face screws up and they just start sobbing?


She was trying to learn how to do something useful so she’d have something to fall back on if the crap hit the fan again.

What could I say?  There wasn’t anything I could say.  Nothing at all.  Because…  she wasn’t wrong.  I mean, she was, but she wasn’t.  She had every right to feel that way.  I mean…  everyone let her down, right?

Finally the sobs turned into hiccups, then sniffles, then she just kind of sighed and fell asleep.  Right against my chest.

I moved her under the covers, kissed her forehead, then turned out the lights.

Then I went downstairs to talk to her parents.

I didn’t say much.  What could I say?  All I said was “She doesn’t feel secure.  She’s trying to learn a skill so if things go bad again she has something to fall back on.”  I paused.  Should I say it? “She feels like all she has to offer is her body, and even that’s ruined.”  I paused.  “She thinks if she learns the guitar if she ends up homeless again at least she knows how to do something that will make money.”  I paused again, and shrugged.  “She just spent fifteen minutes crying while I held her.”

Her parents kind of recoiled, like they were struck.  Her mother started sobbing.  “Why couldn’t she tell us?”

I shrugged.  What could I say to that?  That she probably blamed them for a lot of the stuff that’s happened to her?  That she probably feels like the rug could be pulled out from her at any time?  That she feels like she has no value to anyone unless she has something to offer them?

I settled for a shrug.  There’s only so much you can twist the knife.  “You’ll have to ask her,” I said, with probably a little more bite to my voice than I’d intended.  “But it doesn’t seem too hard to figure it out.  She’s asleep upstairs.”

Her parents are nice enough people.  I don’t hate them.  I know they were trying their best.

But I just put a girl who’d spent fifteen minutes crying her eyes out to bed.  I wasn’t feeling very charitable.

I let myself out.  I didn’t even say goodbye.  Her mother started sobbing again, and I just…  left.

And that’s why I didn’t post last night.

I came home and I did the same to Sabby.  Cried my eyes out against her chest, I mean.

The world is so unfair sometimes.  And it seems like Crystal gets a double share sometimes.

I’m not depressed, not really.  I’m just sad.  Crystal hurts so much, and there’s so little I can do, except let her cry on my chest, listen when she needs me to, and hope her parents can pull their heads out of…  ummm…

okay.  I should shut up.

I did talk to Crystal today.  She thanked me for listening.  I told her it’s okay to practice and it’s even okay to practice hard, but that we love her for exactly who she is and she needs to take care of herself as well.  Apparently her parents had a very long talk with her this morning before school.  And…  during school, because they signed her out and took her on a family day.  Lucky Dave’s his boss, he knows what’s going on and is all about family.  And he knows Crystal too.  Dave’s not very big on emotional stuff but he can be a softy if needed.

Some wounds run really deep.  And I don’t blame her for holding grudges.  Even though I hope she can get past it someday.

I also sent her parents a quick apology.  I don’t regret anything I said.  But…  I wasn’t in a good place for that kind of conversation.  It’s to their credit that they understood.  They thanked me for what I did, anyway.  It wasn’t much.  But it was something.  They do care about her.  They do love her.  They also…  hurt her.  Very, very deeply.

Sometimes, I guess, healing has to take place at its own pace.

Love you all!!! ❤️

This diary entry is part 20 of 25 in Lily's diary dated 28 - October 2023

Hi! It’s me! Lily!!!

It’s gonna rain tomorrow!  Maybe a lot of rain!  I like rain, just not every day.  And next week it’ll be cold!  I need to find my warm clothing!!!  My sweaters!!!  My leggings!!! My cute scarfs and hats!!!

I know it’s not going to be that cold but it’s gonna be cold!!!

But I have class tomorrow, so… aww.  Sometimes here, when it rains, it rains so hard that it floods.  Especially on the freeway.

Dave doesn’t like it when I drive in that kind of rain.

He always protects me.

Yuki’s over tonight.  Our classes together are on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, so she often comes over after class and we do fun stuff.  Liz seems to get a little jealous because she has lessons and it’s a school night, but she also isn’t really possessive.  She knows I’d love to have her over if she could.  She has violin lessons and has to practice and she wants to get into a good college too so she’s really majime about her studies.  It’s a wonder she finds time for us on the weekends, but she says it’s really important to make time for friends.  I love that about her.

It’s fun to practice Japanese with her anyway.  And she tells me lots of stories.  I’m glad I’m not an idol.  It doesn’t sound fun… most of the time.

She did tell me about a boy… if they’d caught her, maybe she wouldn’t have been an idol.  I guess he was her first love.  But it didn’t work out.  Aww.

You know that one girl?  Minegishi Minami?  The one who got caught with a man and shaved her head and released a groveling apology video?  Yeah.  Yuki’s a bit more…  free-spirited than that.  I think she would have flipped everyone off and gone down fighting.  But she never had to!

And boy can she put away the pizza!!!

Anyway…  I guess it’s bedtime.  We’ve got some hair brushing to do, the three of us, then it’s time for bed.

Love you all!!! ❤️

This diary entry is part 19 of 25 in Lily's diary dated 28 - October 2023

Hi! It’s me! LIly!!!

This diary gets boring on weekdays sometimes.  Aww.  There was a little rain today and it was cooler, so yay for that!!!  I like winters in Texas.  Summers…  Yuck.

I didn’t write yesterday.  We all went over to the shop after it closed and did some practice and experimentation.  Yuki wanted to get a better feel for the stage.  It’s very small and she’s not used to such small stages.  But I think she can make it work, and David wanted to get more time on the soundboard and lighting boards too.  He actually managed to get the lighting to really flatter Yuki.  We took a video and showed it to her, and she actually hugged David.  He looked really embarrassed but pleased with himself.

Yuki is pretty.  You don’t become an idol by being ugly.  Well.. most of the time.

For Yuki’s part, she made a call to her old agency and asked if she could get the rights to perform her old music.  They said they’d get back to her, but they seemed happy to hear from her and didn’t see it as a problem as long as she didn’t try to do it in large venues and stayed here in the states.  They might want a token payment but we’ll do that as long as it’s not too expensive.  We can even find the off-vocal music on YouTube…  Well, we’ll see how it works.

I’m… surprised. Crystal is really digging into the guitar.  I really need to ask her why she’s so driven.  It’s like she’s a mad woman.  She’s actually hurting her fingers a bit, but she keeps playing.  Aww.  It’s going to be a while but at this rate she might have it in a few months.  I wonder if Beth’s going to take up an instrument to support her.

But… I’m just glad she found something to live for.

Anyway…  tonight, no one’s over.  It is a school night, after all.  That doesn’t matter quite as much to me, Beth, and David… but it does to everyone else.  For me and Beth, as long as we get to our community college classes and study a few other things, Sabby doesn’t really care what else we do.  And David has a teacher he works with online.  He’d still rather be playing games but he’s gotten into the groove. He’s not giving Sabby nearly as much trouble.

Sabby basically told me, “You performed a piano concerto in front of a full auditorium, and did it nearly flawlessly.  I don’t think there’s any reason to worry about your education.”  Well… I’m not quite as good at math, but I’m doing alright, I guess.

Anyway, time for bed.

Love you all!!!  ❤️

This diary entry is part 18 of 25 in Lily's diary dated 28 - October 2023

Hi! It’s me! Lily!!!

Today was an okay day.  I did my normal morning stuff.  Took Marie for a walk, went for a run, ate breakfast…  the family went to church but I didn’t.  Sabby’s not pushing that, thankfully.  I think she realizes that’s kind of a red line for me right now.

It was pretty cloudy today.  No rain today, and it was a little hot, but cloudy can be nice sometimes, especially here in Texas where it seems we get nothing but sun, constantly.  Dave grilled this afternoon, which was really nice.  I think he’ll grill a little more because it’s less than 100 degrees.  Man, that was a tough summer.

Crystal’s… ummm…  really thrown herself into the guitar.  I mean, really thrown herself into it.  Bocchi levels of throwing herself into it.  She practiced like three hours today.  Something’s gotta be driving her, but I don’t know what, and she’s not really saying.  She just really wants to be in a band for some reason.  She says her fingers hurt but she’s doing it anyway.  Awww.

I almost want to take up drums to help her, but… no.  I just don’t have enough time for that, especially not with a potential move to Japan coming up next year.

Beth is still taking her voice lessons, though.  Maybe she’ll be a singer.  I don’t know.  She’ll do what she wants to do, I suppose, but Crystal is her best friend.  I wonder how that’ll turn out.

Otherwise, it’s just been a Sunday.  Nothing really interesting going on.

Liz’s family still hasn’t told me where they’re going, though they have some ideas.  A Grand Canyon camping trip is being tossed around.  That might be fun.  Sabby would be jealous, though…

I’ve never really been camping before.  That I can remember, anyway.

Anyway…  Goodnight.

Love you all!!! ❤️

This diary entry is part 17 of 25 in Lily's diary dated 28 - October 2023

Hi! It’s me! Lily!!!

It was a warm Saturday!!!

But not very humid, which was nice.  Hot and not humid is better than hot and humid.  We all spent some time at the shop today.  We let Crystal stand on the stage with her guitar and strum a little, but only a little.  She doesn’t get to perform until she can actually perform.  She knows this, and she understands.  She pouted a little, but she understands.

Yuki taught her a couple of chords though, which was nice of her.  She’s not an expert by any means, but she’s better than Crystal.

Baker is getting pretty good at the Japanese treats.  Like I said, she came around, and she actually seems to think it’s a bit fun.  I think she appreciates the tradition behind it.  I’ll have Emiko come down soon and taste test.  In my not so expert opinion, they’re not perfect but they’re pretty good and certainly taste just fine.

Everyone’s wearing the maid outfits now, and they don’t seem too upset about it.  Friday nights they get to cosplay as much as they want, but every other day it’s maid uniforms.  We’ve noticed a little bit of an uptick in business – I guess people like the vibe of pretty maids serving them.  I might have some qualms about one of cat-girl’s chosen careers, but she’s beautiful.  You don’t cause car crashes by being ugly…

I actually wish I could dress up a little, but I understand how Jack feels.  It seems like fun, but the girls do kind of get into it.  Remember how those “maids” sat in David’s lap and doted on him?  Yeah, there’s a little of that, too.  Maybe it just comes with the attitude.

Otherwise, we all went to the mall today and wandered around and bought some trinkets.  That’s always fun.

Bedtime!  Am I going to church tomorrow?  Probably not.  I think I’m done with that, if I’m being honest.

Love you all!!! ❤️

This diary entry is part 16 of 25 in Lily's diary dated 28 - October 2023

Hi! It’s me! Lily!!!

I didn’t post last night.  Jack and I were out.  We were actually out until late.  We went to dinner at the local TGIChiliBees, and then went to a movie.  There weren’t many movies interesting to see, but no one goes to a movie to… ummm… see the movie.   Right?  Haha!!!

We were perfectly well behaved!  That’s my story and I’m sticking with it!

After the movie we went to a scenic overlook and talked a lot and made out a little.  Aww.  I missed him.  We don’t spend as much time together as I’d like, but we’re both busy.  He seems to actually have taken a liking to the math and science stuff, so…  that’s good.  He seems to like solving puzzles, and there are lots of puzzles in math and science.  And now he knows not to stick forks in electrical sockets!

He knew that before, but it’s not funny that way.

I saw Grace too, and she’s doing well.  She’s enjoying school.  Little kids like Grace always seem to have the best time at school.  Well, most of the time.

Tonight all the girls are over.  Crystal brought her guitar and she’s strumming like a mad-girl.  She doesn’t know what she’s doing, but she’s really good at strumming!!!  And her amp has all sorts of cool effects and features.  I bet she’ll sound really good when she actually knows how to play.  We let her strum a little and she does know a couple of chords, but after a few minutes Sabby asked her to cool it.  Haha!!!

I did try to play.  I don’t know how.  But since I have a musical background, I at least understand how the chords work.  Yuki actually can play!  Not great, but she knows a few chords.  Apparently she had to learn a little for a music video her idol group did.

I love that about Japanese people.  All the haters were saying “you’re not a band!  You can’t play instruments!”  So… they learned.

Yuki isn’t good enough to go in front of Tokyo Dome pl;aying the guitar, but she’s better than Crystal.  Right now, anyway.  Crystal seems really determined.  I mean, I know she wants to play in a band… but otherwise, I wonder why.

Anyway, we’re all full of pizza and chocolate and it’s time to brush each others’ hair and make a pile.

Love you all!!! ❤️